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#687200 - 12/19/08 10:16 PM Help with ungrateful stubborn child
Bear904 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 64
Loc: FL
I spent a year researching and analyzing pianos for my 15 year old child who is a musical prodigy. I read Fines book and everything as I am basically ignorant musically. Her primary instrument is the french horn. She also plays clarinet, sax, that marching horn thing, piano and is now taking violin lessons so that she can better write music for her compositions. I made the mistake of buying her Sibelius software to write music and she took off with it.
Here's the problem. I need to get her a piano to practice on. After much research and hanging out on here, I decided that digital was the way to go for numerous reasons. I even got a local dealer to give a good deal on one. When I asked her to go look at it, she refused! She turned her nose up at it. Said she needed an acoustic. I countered with they have everything from Grands to Digitals in the store, just come look and play. Nope....ain't happening. Question: What sources or persons quoted online, etc., are there that I can use to convince her that a digital is adequate for her needs? I don't want to install an acoustic in my house that I will be stuck with till I die and have to pay for numerous tunings as I live in FL with no central air. I'm really at a loss here guys.....females......geez.
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#687201 - 12/19/08 10:23 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9185
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Bear,

If she is indeed a prodigy, then she understands that there is a difference in performance, expression, and durability between digitals and acoustic pianos.

Now, a digital can be cheaper, for sure, but I have owned several digital pianos over the past twenty years. It is rare for them to perform for more than 10 years or so, parts become difficult to get, etc.

I understand your thinking though. It is just that there IS a difference. Maybe if you ask her to go to the store and explain the differences to you there, she may play the digital and think it is possible.

Just don't get your hopes up brother! \:\)
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Cunningham Piano Co.
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#687202 - 12/19/08 11:00 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2665
Loc: western Wisconsin
If she is college-bound, owning a digital piano would probably be the only way she could take her own piano to school. (it will fit more easily in a dorm or small apartment situation without annoying roomates)

If she wants to speed up note-entry into music notation software, having a midi-capable keyboard is the only way to do this. (Most composers I know under the age of 40 do it this way instead of clicking in notes with a mouse-- very inefficient!)

It appears that you've already purchased multiple instruments for her already as well as lessons, and you indicated piano is not the primary instrument.

Ultimately, she will want to have a decent acoustic piano of her own to keep for decades (who wouldn't?). Maybe she can get a job to pay for the maintenance of an acoustic instrument if you purchased it.

From your description, she is being totally unreasonable for not even trying one. I would also hope (if you were to purchase an acoustic piano) you would consider giving the instrument to her when she is an adult-- then the care and maintenance is her responsibility for decades to come, not yours.
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Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
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#687203 - 12/20/08 12:47 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
if shes a prodigy i'd love to see what she can do with a moog synth

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#687204 - 12/20/08 05:15 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
Discotheque Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 81
Loc: Manitoba, Canada
She's completely right I'm afraid. They're not even close in quality. A digital will sound good in the store and when you play it for a little bit, but the more you live with it the more you discover its shortcomings. Acoustic is the opposite, the more you live with it the more you discover all the nuances and quirks and work with them. Hard to explain, but she's right.

If she's 15 and doesn't have an acoustic, is she taking the piano with her to university? If she is I'd get the acoustic. Also you can get decent acoustics fairly cheaply used, and theoretically could sell it for close the same price if it comes to selling it.

Also if you get an acoustic get a humidifier/dehumidifier, that will help keep it in tune.

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#687205 - 12/20/08 05:38 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bear904:
Question: What sources or persons quoted online, etc., are there that I can use to convince her that a digital is adequate for her needs?[/b]
Hugh Sung is a notable concert pianist who has chosen to champion a software piano called Pianoteq he obviously gets to play on all kinds of high end grand pianos but he also chooses to play digital.

He plays a high end Roland mostly but he has been known to tour with a cheap Casio (on a tour of Africa - small enough to carry as hand luggage)

Biography

Hugh Sung\'s webpage

Hugh Sung\'s YouTube page
_________________________

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#687206 - 12/20/08 07:11 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
PhysicsTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 99
Loc: Texas
As a teacher I have a bit of a different view on this. Your child may be a prodigy, but she has a lot to learn about being a person. I don't intend this to be mean, but she sounds a bit arrogant and unappreciative. Yes I know that this is a trait of gifted and talented kids but a little bit of humility and appreciation for others are not bad qualities to have either. Is it perhaps possible that you have placed her on a pedestal all of her young life and she is a bit spoiled? Have you catered to her gift to the point she has become a bit of an elitist at age 15? Again, I am not trying to be mean. I work with very talented kids with IQ's much higher than mine, and I know that teaching them basic human kindness and appreciation of others is quite a chore.

My approach to this would be to not push the issue. I can understand her desire to have the very best grand you can't afford, but at the same time, who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to go to the store and try out everything? I suspect refusing to do so is her way of manipulating the situation and metaphorically stomping her foot and holding her breath. I mean, come on, a musically gifted 15 year old refusing to even go to a store full of toys! It sounds to me as if you have a very high maintenance teen who could easily develop into a very high maintenance adult. By all means encourage her talent, but try to keep her feet on the ground at the same time.

I would simply accept her decision and drop the subject. I suspect she will bring it up again in the future after thinking about it. If she is headed to music school, there will be pianos there she can play. I assume she already has access to one now. If not, just let the seed germinate a little bit. She will eventually come around and at least consider your offer. If not, you have saved a bundle.

Again, I sincerely apologize if this comes across as condescending or mean spirited. This is not my intent at all. I may be completely misjudging your daughter and if I am, please accept my apologies. I sense an opportunity for some character development here and wouldn't want to miss that opportunity.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
_________________________
Casio PX-320, Fabers' Adult Piano Adventures 1
"If you drive faster than I do, you are a maniac. If you drive slower than I do, you are are an idiot."

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#687207 - 12/20/08 08:17 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11655
Loc: Canada
changed my mind

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#687208 - 12/20/08 09:20 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
 Quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsTeacher:
As a teacher I have a bit of a different view on this. Your child may be a prodigy, but she has a lot to learn about being a person. I don't intend this to be mean, but she sounds a bit arrogant and unappreciative. Yes I know that this is a trait of gifted and talented kids but a little bit of humility and appreciation for others are not bad qualities to have either.[/b]
Have you ever read a biography of William James Sidis?

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#687209 - 12/20/08 09:46 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
Monica K. Online   blank

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17773
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Bear, who is the person responsible for making the decisions in your family? Usually it's better all around if it's the parent, not the child. ;\)

I would tell your daughter that you are willing to spend up to $xxxx on a digital piano. Quite honestly, if composing is her main interest, MIDI capability and an ability to work with different instrument sounds and accompaniments would seem to me to be much more useful than the touch and tone of an acoustic.

Another alternative would be to inform your daughter that you can spend the budgeted amount on an acoustic, but SHE will be responsible for earning money (through babysitting, yard work, whatever) to pay for the maintenance of the piano, and then hold her to it. Have her do some research and find out the typical tuning fees in your region, plus voicing/regulation work every couple of years. If her desire for an acoustic is so strong, she presumably should be willing to invest some of her own time, effort, and savings to maintain it. If she is not, that is informative, too.

You asked for piano advice, not parenting advice, so I'll stop there. ;\)
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My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#687210 - 12/20/08 09:56 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
jscomposer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 537
Loc: The Boogie Down
 Quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsTeacher:
I suspect refusing to do so is her way of manipulating the situation and metaphorically stomping her foot and holding her breath.[/b]
She protested because he told her to check out a digital that he picked out and got a good deal on, which does seem presumptive. While he then told her that the store has other pianos she could check out, he already set the stage for selling her on the digital that he wants to get. So, I do agree he should let it go for a little while, and when it comes up again, just take her to any number of stores, without expectations.

Anyhow, I personally believe it's best to learn on an acoustic. I guarantee you Hugh Sung, as someone else mentioned, did not learn on a digital.

When you go checking out colleges, make it one of your criteria whether they have practice rooms with acoustic pianos.

The only hope I think you have of selling her on a digital would be making the notation software that much easier to use. But frankly, you could get her an inexpensive MIDI controller for that. (BTW, why do you think getting her Sibelius was a mistake? Don't you want her to compose?)
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#687211 - 12/20/08 10:11 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11655
Loc: Canada
It might be good to hear from people who are actually involved or have been involved in preparing for a professional career in music, and know what that entails. I have deleted my post because although as parent I fit that category (past tense) I am not convinced that I know enough to advise.

Bear: Piano is a secondary instrument but one she will need to have in formal studies at a postsecondary level. Could your approach be one of prioritizing? If something needs to be sacrified, it should not be the main instrument, so something may have to give. Setting priorities was probably a constant, if I remember. You cannot do it all, or give everything equal weight because you will burn out or drain your resources.

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#687212 - 12/20/08 11:08 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
PhysicsTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 99
Loc: Texas
Have you ever read a biography of William James Sidis?

No I have not read a biography of him, but I know of him. We used him as a case study in our GT training. A genius by all definitions and a tragedy as well. Causes of problems, not really agreed upon. Perhaps another thread to enlighten me. I am always interested.
_________________________
Casio PX-320, Fabers' Adult Piano Adventures 1
"If you drive faster than I do, you are a maniac. If you drive slower than I do, you are are an idiot."

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#687213 - 12/20/08 11:38 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11655
Loc: Canada
For now I found this: W Sidis - wikki article

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#687214 - 12/20/08 12:06 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3459
Loc: US
He looks a little bit like Glenn Gould!!

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#687215 - 12/20/08 01:06 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
At that age, the only thing my parents had bought me was a £400 PSR Keyboard, and no Piano lessons at all. I was always the top music student in all of my school classes, with great support from my teachers, but I ended up completely unprepared for performance at university and failed my audition due to never having had proper guidance or a Piano to practice on.

So humilty, and the 'you cant have a Piano because I say so' technique can backfire for a promising music student, although I really would have never complained over a digital Piano, I got the cheapest one I could find and it is perfect for practice. My musically clueless parents however wouldnt go over £400 and were even trying to talk me into getting a cheaper model!

If studying Music at university, they should definately have private practice rooms with acoustic Pianos available on campus, plus Grand Pianos in lecture rooms, so a digital can fully suffice for home use while using the pianos on campus as well.

I now place full blame on my parents as the reason for why I havnt succeeded in music yet, then again they literally forced me out of studying a Music Technology Diploma after my GCSE's because they wouldnt have me studying anything other then A - levels. But you are already doing enough for your kid, to have him/her complain over a digital piano when lots of musicians never even had one at home just has a 'spoilt' tag attached to it.
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

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#687216 - 12/20/08 01:25 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
PhysicsTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 99
Loc: Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bhav:
... So humilty, and the 'you cant have a Piano because I say so' technique can backfire for a promising music student,... [/b]
I apologize if I came across as suggesting such an approach. My only suggestion is to take the opportunity to teach a life lesson. Heaven knows our children and many adults could use a few of these.

I wouldn't tell my child "You can't have a piano, because I said so." But in the end the answer could very well be, a digital is more appropriate at this time for these reasons ... so we may have to wait on the acoustic if your heart is set on it. I would talk about the family finances, practicality at this time, and try to get her to see the bigger picture of the entire family and their needs. Perhaps a piano is not in the budget at this time, I didn't necessarily get that from the original post. But it may not be practical nor the proper time to invest in a fine instrument either.

I will say this. Unless there was not doubt in my mind that my child was a true prodigy and destined to be the next great concert pianist, my teaching salary would have a hard time justifying a nice grand for my 15 year old. Perhaps in the final year of college if she demonstrated significant potential and desire, then we might have to find a way to sacrifice for one. Now if money is no object, then, heck, why not?

I am in no way suggesting the poster make one choice over the other. I am only offering some food for thought.

Have a great holiday.
_________________________
Casio PX-320, Fabers' Adult Piano Adventures 1
"If you drive faster than I do, you are a maniac. If you drive slower than I do, you are are an idiot."

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#687217 - 12/20/08 01:43 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 739
Loc: Denton Texas
I would tell her its a digital piano or nothing. Take it or leave it...
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#687218 - 12/20/08 01:58 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11655
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
justifying a nice grand for my 15 year old
I didn't see the word "grand" anywhere. Preparing for a career in music is also not about feelings and having one's "heart" set on things. You need proper tools. The purpose of practicing is not self gratification by playing things that make you happy to hear, though that part is nice. It is to develop skills. You cannot do that fully if you do not have the instrument to go with it. Personally I am not knowledeable enough about the piano to know whether digitals would meet those needs. This is her secondary instrument.

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#687219 - 12/20/08 02:05 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
TonyB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/07
Posts: 314
Loc: Twin Cities
I guess different families have VERY different "rules" and expectations. There is absolutely no way that I would have ever expected my parents to buy anything for me aside from clothes and room and board. They rented a violin from the school when I was in 4th and 5th grade to play in the orchestra, but I never had any lessons. In high school, they did buy me a trumpet at a pawn shop and I again had no lessons. I figured out both instruments out from old books, at least well enough to participate. I would never think to demand stuff from my parents, nor would I blame them because they didn't buy me decent instruments. I didn't want to play violin, but it was either that or nothing. We weren't poor, but there were other kids in my family too, and one (hopefully) learns soon enough that it isn't all about ME.

I lay no lofty claims on myself about being "gifted", "talented" or any of that kind of stuff (though I seem to learn well and hold my own), so maybe there is some odd sort of sense of entitlement that comes with that kind of territory that I would never be "privy" to. To me, it seems that if we are keenly aware of the fact that other people exist and have needs too (i.e. it isn't all about ME), then it would be damn difficult to adapt the kind of attitude that both the OP described and that I also see in one or two of the replies in this thread.

Tony
_________________________
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#687220 - 12/20/08 03:01 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
The problem with William Sidis is that although he is considered to be the most intelligent person to have ever lived, he completely lacked social grace and never learned the societal skills necessary to interact with people. His parents were both professors and from day one never babied him and rigidly enforced education and learning beyond what would be normal for a child his age. I dont think that alone accounted for his brilliance, surely there were some genetic reasons as well. By the time he was to be enrolled in school he was so precocious he didnt get along with anyone, he looked down on those around him and nothing was good enough for him. After having some really bad experiences because of this his parents sequestered him away and although he never gave details of what they did to him, after a year or so he re-emerged back to society a changed person. No longer arrogant he was sullen and never really enjoyed working to his full potential.

I guess the issue with gifted children is that its hard to teach them humility without them having to learn it the hard way. Being intelligent is one thing, but being kind goes a lot farther in this world and is more of an admirable quality.

Not being a parent myself I can only guess how tough it is dealing with these kind of issues.

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#687221 - 12/20/08 03:05 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I'm all for digital pianos. They've
enabled me to become the pianist I could
never be on an acoustic piano. But
I have below average talent.

For adult beginners/restarters I univerally
recommend a digital over and acoustic.
For children it's not so clear cut. If
the child is one of the millions of
plunkers with average talent, then there's
no problem with a digital. However, with
a genuine prodigy--and this appears
to be the case with your daughter (this
thing about wanting only an acoustic
is a sure sign of it in my view)--I would
say get the acoustic.

You can get good acoustic uprights
for free in many places in the US.
People with little talent give up
on playing and just want the thing out of the
house. All you do is pay for the moving.

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#687222 - 12/20/08 03:05 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
mallard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 78
all this aside, Louis Armstrong didnt start out with the very best coronet he could find....it was a handme down given to him to play as a job selling coal in the streets from a wheelbarrow.

Just as many have told me in my numerous questions about digital pianos "its not just the instrument, but what you do with it".

sit me on the best Steinway and I would suck compared to your daughter on my 99 dollar yamaha synth.

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#687223 - 12/20/08 03:13 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Sheesh, what a mean, not to mention ungrateful, parent!
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#687224 - 12/20/08 03:15 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
Paul Kolodner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/05
Posts: 143
Loc: Hoboken, NJ
I have a different perspective to offer. She is only going to be at home for another 2-3 years. Perhaps you can rent an acoustic piano for that time. Or buy one with the intent of selling it once she leaves home. The loss in value when you sell it will be the equivalent of rent.

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#687225 - 12/20/08 03:24 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Renting is a good option.

One thing to consider is that not all digitals, nor are all acoustics, created equal. A great digital is much better than a cheap or worn-out acoustic.

For example, I have a beautiful acoustic at home, and use a Roland Rd700sx for gigging. The Roland is superior to any entry-level new acoustic console, and many used pianos other than top-level grands in good condition.

Put quality head phones on, and the Roland sounds like the top-level zillion-dollar concert grands from which it is sampled, and it has action that is very close to...what? which acoustic? they are all different!

In any case, it plays nicely.

Unfortunately, I have no clue as to what you should buy...that is your family's business.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#687226 - 12/20/08 07:16 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
Bear904 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 64
Loc: FL
Boy! I opened up a can of worms didn't I? Physics Teacher, I think you are a wise one ;\) . But, having said that, other things were pointed out that made me pause and think too.I'm going to read this post again after the kids are gone and I don't have so many prying eyes (I have 3 smart alecks all of whom qualify for MENSA! and all girls....who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?)
Thanks for the input and keep it up. Diversity is a good thing. BTW, the original question was never answered. Is there anything online to support digitals vs acoustics or vice versa?
_________________________
Just because you are paranoid does not mean someone is still not out to get you.
1986 Kawai UST-7

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#687227 - 12/20/08 07:54 PM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3848
One thing that caught my eye is LIVING IN FLORIDA WITHOUT CENTRAL AIR. The resulting humidity may rust a piano, however, there is nothing wrong with getting a good used spinet for $600-$800. A Baldwin Acrosonic or 1970's wurlitzer spinet would work.
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#687228 - 12/21/08 03:33 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
 Quote:
Originally posted by TonyB:


I lay no lofty claims on myself about being "gifted", "talented" or any of that kind of stuff [/b]
I also make no claims about myself personally, and I am still far from being able to play well enough to make a career in music, however I was always far beyond other children at school, and up untill the age of 16 had recieved two reports from my middle and upper schools saying that I was the 'star pupil' in music, along with a school prize at 15 for my talent, and my teachers were the ones to ask me why I wasnt getting piano lessons and giving me as much support as they could. My parents on the other hand viewed the keyboard as nothing more then a toy and didnt support my decision to want to go into music as they thought I would never have a career in it. The only thing that has held me back in music has been a complete lack of parental support for my interests. I feel greatly undeveloped, and I definately have always had musical ability, but never the proper training to develop my skills, at least I am having to do that now instead of having had the chance at an earlier age.

I believe that any child that shows an interest in music should be encouraged to play an instrument from the age of 5, along with being provided with classical music to listen to, and be taken to watch a few music concerts. I also dislike how classical music is no longer a part of modern lifestyle and how few children actually get introduced to it because everyone would rather be drinking in a pub instead.
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

Top
#687229 - 12/21/08 04:19 AM Re: Help with ungrateful stubborn child
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bear904:
BTW, the original question was never answered. Is there anything online to support digitals vs acoustics or vice versa? [/b]
I thought my earlier reply answered your question?

Perhaps you missed it?

 Quote:
Originally posted by BazC:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bear904:
Question: What sources or persons quoted online, etc., are there that I can use to convince her that a digital is adequate for her needs?[/b]
Hugh Sung is a notable concert pianist who has chosen to champion a software piano called Pianoteq he obviously gets to play on all kinds of high end grand pianos but he also chooses to play digital.

He plays a high end Roland mostly but he has been known to tour with a cheap Casio (on a tour of Africa - small enough to carry as hand luggage)

Biography

Hugh Sung\'s webpage

Hugh Sung\'s YouTube page [/b]
_________________________

Korg SP200, Pianoteq

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